Korean Rice Cake Soup is comfort food for me. The rich beef broth and chewy rice cake dumplings are a nice pick me up on a cold winters day. It happens to be one of the traditional dishes served on Korean Lunar New Year celebrated this year on January 30 – February 1.
“The rice cake used to make tteokguk is made long and called garaetteok.” Its shape is symbolic, wishing for longevity in life. The oval shape of the rice cakes resembles coins, in another expression of wishing for wealth and prosperity.”
Here is a recipe close to what my mother made. She would add extra onions for flavor and carrots to use as a garnish.
I recommend going to a Korean market to purchase the ingredients.
Sirloin Steak, garlic, rice cakes, onion, green onions, carrots, seaweed nori, dried anchovies, tamari, fish sauce, sesame seed oil.
First step is to take the rice cakes out of the package and soak them in water for about an hour. I keep my rice cakes in the freezer and often they are kept in the freezer at the Korean Market. No need to defrost them. Soak the rice cakes for an hour.
Next get your Anchovy Broth started. Take 2 oz of dried anchovies , 8 cups of water and place in a large pot. Cover the pot and bring to a boil then let it simmer about 15 minutes.
Marinade your steak: take 1/2 lb of Sirloin Steak and slice into thin strips, no wider then 1/4 of an inch. Place it in a bowl and marinade with 1 Tbs fish sauce and 2 minced garlic cloves. Let this marinade for 20 – 30 minutes.
Now get your veggies and egg prepped: finely slice the onion long ways and sauté in 2 tsp of vegetable oil with a dash of salt until it is translucent.
Beat eggs in a bowl and cook in a non-stick frying pan as if to make an “omelet”.
When eggs are done, place on a cutting board , roll, then cut into little strips.
Also cut the green onions, shave the carrots, and cut the seaweed nori into thin strips ( I used a scissor).
Now strain the anchovies from the broth and set the anchovies aside to use in another dish. Place the broth in a large bowl. When onions are done cooking, place them in the anchovy broth.
Next place marinated sirloin steak in a pot. Cook for about 2 – 3 minutes. Then cover it with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
Pretty soon, you will have brown stuff come to the top of the broth. Skim the brown stuff off and discard it.
Your broth should be look like this. Let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Strain the beef from the broth. Place the beef in an oven safe bowl to keep warm.
Pour the anchovy broth back into the pot with the beef broth. Cover and simmer until the rice cakes are ready.
When an hour has passed, drain the rice cakes and place them in the pot with the broth along with 2 Tbs of Tamari and 1 1/2 Tbs of Sesame Oil.
Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the rice cakes are soft. Place the sliced beef back into the soup.
Now you are ready to serve. Ladle the soup into a bowl, then garnish with egg, carrots, green onions and seaweed nori. Add extra Tamari to your broth to season it to your liking.
Enjoy and may you have a healthy and prosperous new year!
Ingredients to serve 8:
1/2 lbs sirloin steak thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 Tbs fish sauce (Thai Kitchen or Asian market brand with out MSG and other chemicals)
1 package Rice Cakes
Water to soak rice cakes
2 oz of dried Anchovies
8 Cups of water
1 medium onion finely sliced
2 Tbs Tamari
1 1/2 Tbs Sesame Oil
4 eggs, beaten
2 carrots, shaved
1 Cup of chopped green onions
1 Cup of shredded seaweed nori